Bush, Kerry Neglecting Female Vote, Experts Warn

By Sarah Junk | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Women may be the determining factor in the November election yet neither President Bush nor Democratic nominee John Kerry has adequately reached out to this important voter base, according to experts studying voter patterns and polls.

"If President Bush or Senator Kerry wants to move more undecided women voters and bond more deeply with them, they have to start paying a little more attention to the issues that matter in these women's daily lives," said Meredith Wagner, executive vice president of public affairs at Lifetime Television.

According to Wagner, the prevention of violence against women and the promotion of equal pay and women's health are the issues likely to impact the female vote in the presidential election.

"They're not hearing from the candidates about these issues and they're not hearing the media talk about the candidates' positions on these issues, which is a little troubling," said Wagner.

The power of women voters should not be underestimated, said Sue Carroll, a senior scholar at Rutgers University's Center for American Women and Politics, noting that women substantially outnumber men among potential voters.

"Women voters are likely to be critical in determining the outcome of the 2004 presidential race," she said.

Carroll said a majority of men can be expected to support Bush and a majority of women can be expected to support Kerry. But she noted that a disproportionately large number of undecided voters are women who could still be swayed before the Nov. 2 election.

"This election may well be won by the presidential candidate who does the better job of mobilizing and speaking to the concerns of women voters, especially those still undecided women voters who will make their decisions between now and Election Day," Carroll said.

The experts spoke with reporters during a conference call sponsored by Votes for Women 2004, a self-described non-partisan organization dedicated to tracking the "gender gap" in voting and the power of the women's vote.

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